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Top 10 Global Building and Infrastructure ETFs

Stocks in this article: IGF MLPI PXR EMIF BRXX



The building and infrastructure sector gained some popularity with investors in 2010 due to the logical thinking that both developed (including the US) and developing nations need to improve various internal improvements. In the U.S. this includes engineering, construction, roads and bridges, dams and many other developments.

There aren't that many ETF choices in the sector so having a top 10 list seems rather odd but this is our methodology and the sector needs coverage.

Certainly in emerging markets there is much activity planned. Given current economic conditions in the developed world infrastructure projects can be seen as necessary as existing infrastructure requires modernization. Making investments in these projects as international and domestic economic growth slows is generally believed as important and stimulative.

We rank the list of ETFs by our proprietary stars system as outlined below.

Strong established linked index
Excellent consistent performance and index tracking
Low fee structure
Strong portfolio suitability
Excellent liquidity

Established linked index even if "enhanced"
Good performance or more volatile if "enhanced" index
Average to higher fee structure
Good portfolio suitability or more active management if "enhanced" index
Decent liquidity

Enhanced or seasoned index
Less consistent performance and more volatile
Fees higher than average
Portfolio suitability would need more active trading
Average to below average liquidity

Index is new
Issue is new and needs seasoning
Fees are high
Portfolio suitability also needs seasoning
Liquidity below average

When possible we prefer to feature a technical view of conditions from monthly chart views. Simplistically, we recommend longer-term investors stay on the right side of the 12 month simple moving average. When prices are above the moving average, stay long, and when below remain in cash or short. Some more interested in a fundamental approach may not care so much about technical issues preferring instead to buy when prices are perceived as low and sell for other reasons when high; but, this is not our approach. Premium members to the ETF Digest receive added signals when markets become extended such as DeMark triggers to exit overbought/oversold conditions.

When monthly data is insufficient for technical analysis we shift our views to weekly or even daily chart views to gain a possible technical view.

#1: iShares Global Infrastructure ETF (IGF)

IGF follows the S&P Global Infrastructure Index. The fund was launched in December 2007. The expense ratio is .48%. AUM equal $414 million and average daily trading volume is less than 75K shares. As of mid-January 2012 the annual dividend yield was 4.37% and YTD return -.30%. The trailing 12 month return was -2.59%.

Data as of First Quarter 2012

IGF Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Transurban Group (TCL): 5.25%
  2. TransCanada Corporation (TRP): 4.70%
  3. Enbridge, Inc. (ENB): 4.39%
  4. Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE): 3.63%
  5. Atlantia (ATL): 3.40%
  6. E.ON Aktiengesellschaft (EOAN): 3.30%
  7. El Paso Corporation (EP): 3.29%
  8. Spectra Energy Corp (SE): 3.08%
  9. Williams Companies Inc (WMB): 3.07%
  10. GDF Suez (GSZ): 2.98%

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